August 11, 2013: Niese Returns With Win Over Snakes

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Date: August 11, 2013
Mets starter: Jonathon Niese
Mets: 9
Diamondbacks: 5
Winning pitcher: Jonathon Niese
Key player(s): Jonathon Niese, Wilmer Flores, Andrew Brown
Key play: Goldschmidt’s error, Brown’s and Flores’s home runs

The Mets faced the Diamondbacks on a Sunday afternoon in Arizona. The teams played the finale of a three-game series. In his first game after coming back from an injury, Jonathon Niese recorded the win in a 9-5 Mets victory.

Juan Lagares singled against Diamondbacks’ starter Zeke Spruill with one out in the top of the first inning. Daniel Murphy hit a force play ground ball to shortstop Cliff Pennington and consecutive walks to Ike Davis and Wilmer Flores loaded the bases. Mike Baxter reached second base on first baseman Paul Goldschmidt’s error that allowed Murphy, Davis and Flores to come home. Anthony Recker followed with a double to drive home Baxter for a 4-0 Mets lead. Spruill then retired Omar Quintanilla on a ground ball to Pennington for the third out.

A single by A. J. Pollock began the bottom of the first. Martin Prado and Goldschmidt were retired on fly balls to right fielder Baxter. Aaron Hill hit a double to score Pollock with the Snakes’ first run of the game. Niese retired Cody Ross on an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Flores. On the play, Ross suffered an injury to his leg and had to leave the game. Spruill held the Mets to a single by Niese in the top of the second. Jonathon then gave up only a single to Tuffy Gosewisch in the bottom half.

Davis hit a single to lead off the top of the third. Flores popped out to Pennington and a single by Baxter ensued. Recker was retired on a fly ball to center fielder Pollock, after which Davis advanced to third base. Quintanilla singled to bring home Davis with the Mets’ fifth run. Trying to score on the hit, Baxter was out at home via a relay throw by Pennington to catcher Gosewisch to finish off the inning.

Pollock hit a leadoff single in the bottom of the third. Prado was called out on strikes and Goldschmidt drew a walk. Hill slugged a three-run homer to reduce the Mets’ lead to 5-4. Matt Davidson (in his first major league at bat) flied out to center fielder Lagares. Gerardo Parra followed with a single to left field. Niese then retired Gosewisch on a fly ball to Lagares that ended the inning.

Niese and Arizona reliever Josh Collmenter each pitched scoreless ball from the fourth inning to the sixth. Davis drew a one-out walk against the Snakes’ Joe Thatcher in the top of the seventh. Flores hit a single and Will Harris came in to pitch for the Diamondbacks. Pinch-hitter Andrew Brown greeted Harris with a home run that extended the Mets’ lead to 8-4. Harris got Recker to pop out to second baseman Hill and retired Quintanilla on an inning-ending ground ball to Pennington. Pollock singled against New York’s David Aardsma to open the bottom half. Prado hit a force play grounder to Flores and a walk to Goldschmidt followed. Aardsma then got Hill on a ground ball to shortstop Quintanilla for a double play that closed out the inning.

Harris and Arizona’s Eury De La Rosa combined for a scoreless top of the eighth. Parra doubled against the Mets’ Scott Atchison with one out in the bottom half. Gosewisch lined out to right fielder Brown and a single by Pennington brought home Parra with the fifth run for the D’Backs. Pinch-hitter Wil Nieves singled and Atchison got Pollock to hit a force play grounder to Quintanilla for the inning’s third out. With one out in the top of the ninth, Flores hit a homer (his first in the major leagues) against Diamondbacks’ reliever Heath Bell for the Mets’ ninth run of the game. Bell then threw a called third strike past Brown and retired Recker on a fly ball to Pollock to finish off the inning.

Mets’ reliever LaTroy Hawkins got Prado on a line drive to right fielder Marlon Byrd to start the bottom of the ninth. Goldschmidt was retired on a line drive to Lagares. Hill then grounded back to Hawkins for the game’s final out. The Mets had a victory as Niese chalked up the win in his first appearance after missing nearly two months.